Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 9/26/2002
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, September 26, 2002. Highlights from the last week include WESTERN KINGBIRD, LARK SPARROW, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, LINCOLN'S SPARROW, SEDGE WREN, PARASITIC JAEGER, NORTHERN GANNET, BLACK TERN, MARBLED GODWIT, AMERICAN AVOCET, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, DICKCISSEL, and news of the migration.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD was seen at the Rea Farm ("The Beanery") on Sept. 25th.

A LARK SPARROW was reported from the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary on Sept. 25th.

A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was seen on Sept. 22nd at the parking area for the old Magnesite plant near Sunset Beach, Cape May Point.

Two LINCOLN'S SPARROWS were seen at the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area ("Higbee") on Sept. 25th, and one LINCOLN'S SPARROW was found at Cape May Point State Park on Sept. 24th.

A SEDGE WREN was found at The Nature Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge ("The Meadows") on Sept. 21st.

Highlights from the first 4 days of the Avalon Seawatch (Sept. 22 25) include 10 PARASITIC JAEGERS, 8 NORTHERN GANNETS, and a BLACK TERN (Sept. 22nd). A PARASITIC JAEGER was seen off Cape May Point on Sept. 25th, and at least three individual PARASITIC JAEGERS were seen on Sept. 26th.

From two to as many as nine MARBLED GODWITS and one AMERICAN AVOCET were found repeatedly in the Stone Harbor area during the last week, most often seen from the base of the free bridge at Nummy Island. An AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER was here on Sept. 21st. Another MARBLED GODWIT was at the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (Brigantine) on Sept. 21st.

Three LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS (2 adults, 1 juvenile) were at the beach at The Meadows on Sept. 25th.

The songbird migration continues at full pace, with large numbers of birds being seen, especially in the morning after nights with northwest winds. Highlights of the last week included a DICKCISSEL at Higbee on Sept. 24th, 12 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS on Sept. 25th, 2 WILSON'S WARBLERS at the CMBO Northwood Center on Sept. 26th, and numerous reports of CONNECTICUT WARBLER, TENNESSEE WARBLER, PHILADELPHIA VIREO, MOURNING WARBLER, GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH, ALDER FLYCATCHER, and many others.

Migrating raptors have been abundant in Cape May this week. The official CMBO hawkwatch totaled 2086 on Sept. 23rd, 1562 on Sept. 24th, and 974 on Sept. 25th. 2157 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, 1432 AMERICAN KESTRELS, 281 OSPREY, and 243 MERLINS were tallied during those 3 days.

The bullet workshop on Raptors October 12 & 13 has filled, but a second section is possible. Call for details. Spaces are still available for the full 5-day workshop on Raptor Migration, October 20 24. Now is the time to register for the gala New Jersey Audubon Cape May Autumn Weekend & THE Bird Show, Oct. 25 27. Contact CMBO at (609) 861-0700 for more information about these and other upcoming programs for the busy and exciting fall migration season.

The Cape May Bird Observatory offers an extensive series of regular bird walks that require no pre-registration, and many special field trips and programs for which advanced registration is required. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

This Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory, which is a research, conservation, and education unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to preserve and perpetuate the ornithological significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and this hotline. We detail sightings from around Cape May County, and also include reports from Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report your sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO's Northwood Center at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to CapeMayReports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

Mark S. Garland, Senior Naturalist
Cape May Bird Observatory Northwood Center
701 E. Lake Dr., PO Box 3
Cape May Point, NJ 08212

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